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Who are the Roma people?

The Roma are a people group with no home country. They are scattered primarily throughout Europe, but also the world. Typically living in tight-knit exclusive communities, the Roma maintain a unique culture and close family ties.

To learn more about the Roma visit the Britannica Page or the Wikipedia Page.

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Wednesday
Feb112015

Ice Skating, much like the Christian Life

By: Alicia Jones

The great idea came from the assistant principal at the school. He gave us the address of the ice skating rink and told us we should go sometime. I love ice skating and I perked up at the idea. We wrote down the address, but as I imagined, we soon got too busy and forgot about going ice skating. Three weeks later our Roma friend from Romania was spending the week with us. On Saturday, my ministry partner suggested, “Let’s go ice skating tonight!” It would be a first for our Roma friend; giddy with excitement we waited for evening to arrive.

After a challenge finding the place, we put on our rented skates and stepped into the arena. Our Roma friend’s face was struck with fear as she looked at the crowd of young people going hard on the ice rink. She stepped out onto the ice but with both hands gripping tightly to the wall. In her eyes I saw she was certain she was not going to be able to ice skate, no matter how much helping I did. I assured her once again that I had taught quite a few friends how to ice skate.

First round, she just clung to the wall. Second time around, she allowed me to hold one of her hands, but she still used the wall to push off. Finally, I convinced her she wasn’t going to get anywhere if she didn’t let go of the wall. In a calm voice I explained how important it was for her to use her own foot to propel her body forward. I dragged her along for a round or two, but then she got it. Then she started falling. I was able to catch her when I was still doing most of the work for the two of us, but as she got the hang of it I began letting her go, but as a result I couldn’t stop the falls as easily. It was painful to watch her fall, but I knew this was the only way she would learn. Then she said, “I’m going to try it on my own now.” I was just there behind her as she went along. She fell, I helped her up. With those skates on ice, it was near impossible for her to stand herself up. Each fall made her braver. The last half hour she was confident. She went alone or with me, but she no longer needed support. I was so proud of her!

The next day we were together in the church. She stood up to share a testimony. At 17 years of age she gave her life to Christ and was baptized, now at eighteen she leads the church of 150/200 people in worship. I’m so proud of her. I’ve heard her pray aloud in church too, but this was the first time I heard her share a testimony. She started telling about how she went ice skating the day before for the very first time. I thought, “Where is she going with this?” Then she said, “The whole experience reminded me of the Christian life. We see others doing it so easy, but we think, ‘Me? How will I ever?’ Then there are people, like Alicia, who help us get the hang of it. But we fall. When I fell on the ice, I became braver. But there were times when I fell and I couldn’t get up. We need our Christian brothers to help us stand up. But it is important that we learn from our falls, and that we don’t give up.” “Wow,” I thought to myself. The whole experience really was like the Christian life. The miracle of her overcoming her fear, letting go of the wall, trusting me and then learning to ice skate on her own, is like the miracle of a person who lets go of their own desires, says yes to Jesus and is willing to allow Him to teach them to walk by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 reads, “I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” When we are learning to walk by the Spirit, there are those times when we allow the flesh’s desire to be fulfilled…we fall. But thanks to God for the Christian brothers and sisters who give us a hand and help us stand up. Our friend is determined to go back to the ice rink, and she wants to bring along a friend so he can try it too. If we’ve really experienced the joy of walking by the Spirit, then we are always hungry for more, and we bring along someone we care about! :) 

  

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